How to Router Hinges
Hi I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery a custom furniture shop in St. Petersburg, Florida. And today I'm going to show you how to router hinges. What I'm going to show you today with my example is a small cabinet hinge. The process is the same whether you are doing a cabinet hinge like this or a full sized door hinge anywhere in the home. What I've done is I've made a jig that fits this hinge particularly and because of the way I'm going to use my router the jig is a little bit larger then my hinge is. The reason for that is because I had to set up my router with a template guide which is this plate on the bottom and what's going to happen is this guide is going to follow my jig and the router bit itself is just smaller then the guide. So I had to make the offset in my measurements. In this case I had to allow for sixteenth inch over from my bit to the outside of my template guide, so on each of the three sides of my jig, I have a sixteenth of an inch wider. So the next thing I'm going to do is I've got my stock clamped up to my bench and I'm going to clamp my jig to the stock and I would line it up so it's in the right place where I want my hinge to be on my cabinet or on my door or door frame. And now it's a simple matter of cutting the mortise for the hinge. And what I am going to do is I'm going to start on the left hand side, I'm going to come in follow the jig keeping my template guide nice and tight to the jig, in back and out, then I'm going to make one more pass to clear it because n this case we are using a half inch bit and it's a three quarter inch mortise so I can clean it in two passes, larger mortises for door hinges would of course take a few more passes. The next thing I want to do is I want to set the depth of my cut and first I'm going to do is put the router in place and plunge all the way down until my cutter is touching my stock. This particular router is a plunge router so I can make my height adjustments fairly simply and what I am going to do is take my hinge and put it between one of the stops, bring my stock guide down till it just touches, lock that in place and now I know my cutter is going to be at the right depth for this hinge. Now before you take your jig off, you want to take a quick look to make sure that everything is cut right, you didn't leave anything missing because it's very difficult to line your jig up just right a second time. So I can see here that I've got a nice clean bottom. One of the things you'll fine when you are working with a router is you are going to get rounded corners. A lot of door hinges come with rounded corners because of that. Your, most of your furniture type hinges are going to come with square corners. So the last thing we have to do is square the corners of our mortise. A simple way is to just come in with a chisel, square up one side, square up the other and then simply come in and clean it out. Now I'm using a fairly soft material here so I can clean that out by hand. At this point it's a matter of sliding your hinge in and making sure that everything is just right and that we have a nice snug fit. So I've just gone over how to cut a hinge mortise with a router. I'm Dave Trull with Trull Gallery the fine art of furniture making.